Jackup drills are the most common types of offshore mobile drilling units used around the world for oil exploration and development in offshore settings. The Jones Act comes into play when offshore workers are injured on moveable vessels like jackup drill rigs. Offshore workers or family members  can file personal injury or wrongful death claims following an injury or fatality on a  jackup drilling rig.

Legal Options for Workers Injured on Mobile Drill Rigs

Call Baron & Budd to schedule a free consultation, and find out if you are eligible to file a claim for compensation. Our attorneys are familiar with maritime law and tort litigation for drilling rig injury claims, and can help you get the compensation you deserve after a drill rig work accident.

Under the Jones Act, employers are obligated to provide employees a reasonably safe working environment and conduct regular maintenance on the vessel to ensure continued safety. Any act of negligence can lead to serious injuries in a dangerous work environment. If your company or employer is negligent and responsible for your injuries, you should contact a lawyer for oilfield worker injury lawsuits.

Common jackup drill rig injuries include but are not limited to head, back and spinal injuries, broken bones, crush injuries, brain injuries, burns and exposure to toxic chemicals.

Obligations of Jackup Rig Employers

The number of fatalities and injuries that occur in the oil and gas extraction industry are a full seven times greater than other industries in the U.S. This shocking statistic probably comes as no surprise to those familiar with the hazardous conditions present on jackup rigs, where something as simple as a drop of grease on the deck can lead to a fatal fall.

Employer/Company Negligence

In order to minimize associated risks, employers are required to take the following steps:

  • Ensure all seamen receive adequate training and safety equipment necessary for their position;
  • Maintain oversight of the actions of both on and off duty seamen to prevent or correct negligent and/or violent behaviors;
  • Conduct regular maintenance on the vessel, as corrosion, metal fatigue and age in addition to any welding, design and/or manufacturing defects all have the potential to create catastrophic damage if not proactively maintained;
  • Ensure seamen maintain a high degree of cleanliness including immediate removal of oil and/or debris on the deck that can create a slip and fall hazard.

A failure to complete any of the previous requirements may result in the employer being held liable for damages in a court of law if the negligence caused the injury or death of one or more seamen on a jackup rig.

Common Jackup Rig Accidents & Injuries

  • Rig Failure
  • Rig Collapse
  • Fire on Rig
  • Rig Explosion
  • Exposure to Toxic or Hazardous Chemicals
  • Electrocution
  • Spinal Injuries
  • Drowning
  • Fall Injuries
  • Burns
  • Death

While seamen employed on jackup drill rigs are spared the most common injuries in the oil and gas industry (which involve transportation of resources over land), these workers are highly susceptible to injuries resulting from contact with and trauma from objects. Catastrophic rig failure because of a collapse or equipment malfunction can cause severe and fatal injuries, often involving a large number of people. In addition, these employees and contractors are vulnerable to injuries resulting from fires and explosions. Together injuries from fires, explosions, and trauma from objects account for more than 40 percent of all oil drilling related injuries.

Exposure to dangerous chemicals and slip and fall hazards cause fewer accidents, each individually representative of approximately eight percent of oil and gas injuries. Drilling companies themselves have the highest rates of worker injuries, followed by well-servicing companies and finally, operators.

Manufacturers Liability for Defective Equipment

Because of the extreme forces jackup drill rigs must withstand, every component must be manufactured to the highest standard in order to prevent premature failure of the metal, protective valves, etc. If a manufacturer or seller is determined to have sold one or more components of a jackup rig that is later shown to be the cause of an accident, that manufacturer or seller may be liable for damages under chapter 82 of the Civil Practices and Remedies Code, provided the component(s) failed due to a design flaw or poor manufacturing process. Sellers may be responsible if they misrepresented or failed to properly warn a buyer of an inherent risk of a defective product.

Contact a Jackup Drill Rig Accident Lawyer

Injured in a jackup drill rig while working offshore? Call Baron & Budd today at 866-723-1890 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation with our legal team. We will review the details of your case and see if you are eligible to file a claim for compensation for your injuries, medical bills, and mental anguish. Call now.

Sources:

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/overview-the-jones-act-seamens-injuries.html

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/oilgaswelldrilling/

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6420a4.htm

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/CP/htm/CP.82.htm

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